Does A Guru Have To Be God-Realized?
That depends on what you want from a Guru and spiritual path.
If you want a means to get better at your worldly game, to improve your worldly life and attain pleasure, in an attempt to avoid pain, your Guru does not have to be Self-realized. However, when this is the case, you will have to accept that any spiritual attainment you get as a result, may only be a glimpse and may not be lasting.
Authentic Gurus and paths exist to lead you (by way of giving you a proved means) from the mundane experience of ordinary human experience and awareness, to the permanent experience of a Divine, spiritual awareness that enables you to exist in a state of indescribable Joy, Inner Peace, Content and an inner strength necessary to take on all of life’s challenges with a smile on your face – and in way that never alters your inner state of the above.
If this is what you want, your chosen Guru must have attained a permanent state of indescribable Joy, Bliss, Inner Peace and an inexhaustible inner strength. Such a Guru must have become what he/she is leading you in. So, in this case, such a Guru must be God-realized.